The West Liffey INTO branch have launched a Facebook page, “Teachers Talking Back”, to inform branch members of media reports from the INTO. A spokesperson from the branch said:
We’re always on the lookout for ways to engage with the teachers who don’t come to INTO meetings because we feel they get their information via the media and never get to hear an alternative view of the state of the nation and the education system.
The INTO does release its information on its own web site. However, many members do not access it. Younger people want information to come to them on services they already use, not the other way around. Unfortunately an RSS feed is no longer enough.
Within 3 days of the page opening, there were over 300 members. Already there are several “conversations” happening about INTO issues. These are issues that traditionally would have had to wait until branch meetings.
The branch hope that the Facebook page will develop into a way of communicating quickly with a large number of teachers and other people who may be sympathetic.
I believe this could be one of the most important things the INTO has done this year. If this was rolled out on a national basis, it could be an incredibly powerful tool in their talks with the government.